The U.S. Department of the Interior has begun auctioning the leasing rights to large areas off the coast of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey for commercial offshore wind energy development. Hundreds of thousands of acres have already been auctioned off to developers. Large companies including the likes of Wal-Mart and Google have called for market changes to make renewable energy more available. Through the first quarter, installed wind power in the U.S. is up to 61,327 MW. Turbine orders are being placed, and wind farms are going up. Check it out:
Spinning Spur starts spinning
The 161-MW Spinning Spur II Wind Project in Texas has reached commercial operation. The project was developed by EDF Renewable Energy and features 70 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines. Southwestern Public Service Company will purchase the generated electricity in a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement.
Vestas adds 800 new jobs
Vestas announced plans to add 800 new jobs in Colorado by the end of this year. Firm contracts totaling 1,255 MW have been placed since January 1. This month alone, EDF Renewable Energy has placed orders with Vestas for 740 MW. Turbines will be delivered through 2016.
Community wind also bigger in Texas
Dallas-based Tri Global has finished construction on another 11-turbine project, which is part of the larger, 200-MW Crosby County Wind Farm. The project is expected to be connected to the grid in 2015. Crosby County Wind Farm is a community wind project.
Microsoft’s largest wind investment
Kankakee County, Illinois
Microsoft Corp. recently announced plans to purchase power for it’s Chicago-area data center from the 175-MW Pilot Hill Wind Project currently under construction in Illinois. The 20-year agreement is Microsoft’s biggest investment in wind energy to date. The wind farm is owned by EDF Renewable Energy. Microsoft will be purchasing all the power generated by Pilot Hill.
Winds aloft in Montana
Two Dot, Montana
Mortenson Construction has completed construction on the Two Dot wind project in Montana. The 9.73 MW-project is owned by New Jersey Clean Energy Ventures. It is the 135th wind energy project in Montana.
Drifting in the Prairie Breeze
The 200-MW Prairie Breeze wind project was dedicated this past June. The project spans Antelope, Boone, and Madison counties in Nebraska. The farm is comprised of 118 GE 1.7-MW turbines. Omaha Public Power District will purchase the wind farm’s electricity under a long-term agreement. A full-time staff of 13 are currently responsible for O&M.
Sunflower planted in North Dakota
Hebron, North Dakota
The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved construction of the 110-MW Sunflower Wind. The wind farm will be comprised of 59 turbines, and construction is expected to begin in 2015. The project is being developed by energy company Sunflower.
More turbines for tornado alley
Coffey County, Kansas
Gamesa will supply EDP Renovaveis SA with 95 of its G114 2MW turbines for its Waverly wind farm in Kansas. Kansas City Power & Light signed a PPA back in January to purchase the power from the 200MW wind farm.